News / Opinion
Yet, that would be to ignore the fact that the ban on cooked foods is but a symptom of some of the irrationality in the government’s application of regulations under the Disaster Act.
There has been no clear explanation for why cooked food is now considered “dangerous” … and the best rationale (and this is supposition) is that government doesn’t want restaurants and takeaway food establishments to be unfairly prejudiced.
While there may be some merit in the argument that uniform restrictions have to be applied, that leaves the sad situation that emergency or essential services personnel are now banned from buying prepared food on their way home from hard and dangerous shifts.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has gone to lengths to explain that the ban on the sale (and transportation) of alcohol is intended to keep hospital wards open for Covid-19 patients rather than for the casualties of booze – assault and car accident victims.
However, his experts have also predicted that the peak of the hospitalisations due to the infection will be only in September – raising the bleak possibility that the ban could remain in force until then. There has also been no cogent explanation of the ban on the sale of cigarettes, other than that those who smoke are more likely to battle to fight off a severe infection.
However, it is a medical fact that the effects of smoking last for years – so a five-week ban is going to make little to no difference. In addition, there are other anomalies in the restrictions which seem more petty than effective.
It’s time we had a frank discussion about the rules, President Ramaphosa.
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